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Business

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Briefs

Twinkies maker near deal on sale

The indestructible Twinkie appears to be one step closer to a comeback.

Hostess Brands is close to announcing that it has picked two investment firms – C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. and Apollo Global Management – as the lead bidders for its Twinkies and other snack cakes, according to a source close to the situation who was not authorized to comment publicly on the talks.

The joint “stalking horse” bid would set the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. A judge would have to approve any final sale.

After years of management turmoil and turnover, Hostess declared it was going out of business and selling its brands in November. The company, based in Irving, Texas, has already announced separate lead bidders for its other brands. McKee Foods, which makes Little Debbie snack cakes, was picked as the lead bidder for Drake’s cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels.

Flowers Foods, which makes Tastykakes and a variety of breads, was picked as the lead bidder for six of Hostess’ major bread brands, including Wonder.

United States Bakery Inc. was picked as the lead bidder for a number of smaller bread brands.

US home prices jump in November

U.S. home prices accelerated in November compared with a year ago, pushed higher by rising sales and a tighter supply of available homes.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.5 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago. That’s the largest year-over-year gain in six years.

All but one of the cities in the index posted annual gains. The largest gain was in Phoenix, where prices jumped nearly 23 percent. It was followed by San Francisco, where prices rose 12.7 percent, and Detroit, where they increased 11.9 percent.

Steel Dynamics sees earnings drop

Steel Dynamics Inc. has reported 2012 annual earnings of almost $164 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, a 41 percent drop from the $278 million, or $1.22 a share, posted for 2011.

The Fort Wayne-based steelmaker also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $60.6 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, more than double the $30.2 million, or 14 cents a share, posted for the same three months of the prior year.

Steel Dynamics also reported net sales after markets closed Monday. Sales for 2012 were $7.29 billion, a 9 percent dip from $8 billion in 2011 sales.

Mark Millett, president and CEO, said in a written statement that improvements in the metals recycling and sheet steel operations contributed to better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

New $799 iPad beefs up memory

Apple says it will sell an iPad with more memory than the current models available.

Apple Inc. said Tuesday that the new, full-size model comes with 128 gigabytes of memory, up from 64 gigabytes. Nothing else has changed, so it will remain a fourth-generation iPad, which went on sale in November. The memory increase does not apply to the iPad Mini.

The new iPad will go on sale Tuesday for $799 for a Wi-Fi model and $929 with cellular data access as well.

The latest iPads with 16, 32 and 64 gigabytes remain available, starting at $499. The older iPad 2 starts at $399.

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